Production and Business 101: Lettering & Production
Join letterer Dave Sharpe for a seven-week course on lettering comics and production work. In this digital age, everyone thinks they can letter. But there’s a lot more to lettering than digitally pasting words onto the page. Don’t let amateurish lettering ruin your project! Plus, being able to professionally letter your own projects can save you a lot of cash!
Dave will take you through the programs, the thought-process, and the decision-making skills to create comics with slick, professional lettering. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also learn the production work associated with publishing comics! Setting up covers with logos, cover elements, integrating the digital lettering files with the digital color files properly, and page set-up, along with a healthy dose of troubleshooting the most common problems.
A clean, effective, and powerful-looking comic with professional lettering and production work is just around the corner!
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- The course meets once a week between 9:00 and 11:00 pm EST, for seven weeks.
- You will letter an 8-page comic book!
- You will do the production work on the same story.
- You will set up a cover with all its elements.
- You’ll get Dave Sharpe’s wealth of experience and training.
- You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
- You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
- Class size is limited to keep it awesome!
Dave Sharpe has been lettering for 20 years. He started in 1990 hand-lettering in the Marvel Bullpen. After freelancing and teaching lettering at the Joe Kubert School in the mid-90s, Dave came back on staff and developed and helmed the Marvel in-house lettering department. In 2002, he went back to life as a freelancer and continues to letter for DC Comics and many independent titles. Dave has worked on many titles such as Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, The Defenders, and Spider-Girl.
The only way to learn lettering is from a professional letterer. And that’s what Dave Sharpe is. In addition to Dave’s own skills as a letterer, this course was co-developed by Dave and Andy, so you’re also getting an editor’s perspective as well. You’ll get everything you need to know to start lettering your own stories in just seven weeks.
Just like writing, art, and coloring, lettering is also very much about storytelling. And Dave does an excellent job teaching the finer points of comics lettering. Dave has been making comics for years, and he’s happy to pass his wisdom on to you.
I don’t really want to be a letterer full time. Should I take this class?
Yes! Unprofessional lettering is one of the fastest ways to make your project look amateurish. And without training, you may not even recognize it, even if you’ve found someone else to letter your projects.
Plus, even if you don’t want to be a full-time letterer, you still may want to be able to handle all aspects of your own projects yourself, especially since having someone else professionally letter your comic is expensive! By doing it yourself, you’ll save literally hundreds of dollars per 22-page issue you create. It’s a great way to keep your costs low on your comics.
And here’s another point, and an important one: lettering a comic gives you a whole new level of understanding of the comics form. Lettering is the only part of production that really, truly touches every other aspect of production. It interacts directly with the text of the script. It becomes a part of the art. It uses color choices and theory when choosing effects and special fonts. It affects your reader’s eye movement, reading pace, and page flow. Lettering connects most intimately with every other part of the creative process and yet, ironically, it’s the least appreciated and understood.
If you want to make professional-looking comics, you want to completely understand the art of lettering.
Besides listening to Dave’s hilarious stories, what do I actually do in this course?
Every student is given a number of professional pages to letter. These are pages illustrated for real Marvel and DC and IDW comics. They’ve got professional scripts and line art for you to use and reference. And the scans are good and clean; the kind you should be getting if you go pro! You’re lettering real comics!
And best of all, by the end of the course, if you follow through, you’ll wind up with some portfolio pieces to boot!
What if I don’t know Photoshop or Illustrator?
Unlike the coloring class, Lettering is done mainly in Illustrator. It’s a tough program, but we try to make it easy on you. Don’t worry! We cover everything you need to know for lettering comics quickly and in a friendly manner. And we’ll slow down if we need to.
Who is Dave Sharpe and why is he teaching my class?
Dave Sharpe was hand-picked by Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada and the management team to head up Marvel’s In-House lettering team. And Dave led it well. Since then, Dave has gone on to letter freelance which he still does for almost every publisher under the sun.
In addition to lettering, Dave also does logo design and production work for comics. You’ll learn the production work, too–which will also save you cash!
Dave’s been teaching lettering since his days running Marvel’s lettering department, where he trained all the letterers who came on board. He’s happy to once again be teaching.
What do I do after the class?
Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach comic pages and stories—not just a set of steps for these specific pages. It’s important that the letterer learn to think on their feet (well, in their computer chairs, anyway).
You’ll be able to confidently approach a script and set of pages. The idea with all our courses is that you won’t need us once the course is over. You’ll be able to letter on your own!
What else will we be doing?
In addition to talking with Dave during the class sessions—and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more—you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the duration of the course.
And the forum is where you’ll be able to post your work for your class to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ lettering as well. You’ll problem solve together and find new ways to letter and work around story challenges!
Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?
Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. The class has a quick pace, so if you’re very new, be prepared to work, but one thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level.
These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way. So, new to comics? Come on in, we’d love to show you around! Old pro? Let’s sharpen those skills and learn a few new tricks! Everyone’s welcome, and the group learning will help everyone improve!
Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?
Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!
Once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly.
What computer programs do I need for this course?
You’ll need Photoshop and Illustrator. Any version will do! The basics are the same and have been since the beginning. And we’ll do some general troubleshooting with folks as they encounter differences in different versions of both programs, if necessary.
When does the class meet and for how long?
The Introduction to Lettering and Production class meets once a week for seven weeks. It meets between 9:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm EST. The course is held live.
What if I miss a class?
All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!
If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time!Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!
Learning about comic storytelling is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.
If I don’t want a career in comics, and just like making comics or even just want to learn more about the art form I love, is this class right for me?
Sure it is! How better to expand your knowledge and understanding of comics than by engaging with creators? And that’s what most of our students are—they’re creators. It’s a great place to learn just for fun if you wish too. We’d love to have you!
How do I sign up?
Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions with two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.
There simply is no better comics lettering course offered on the Internet or live—this is the best—period. If you want to letter comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.
To participate in our live online sessions you will need:
- A computer or mobile device that meets Go To Meeting’s minimum requirements
- to agree to the terms included in Comics Experience’s User Agreement.
- High-speed Internet access
- Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
- A mind like a sponge!
Note: The following software is needed to do the course work. If you do not intend to do the course assignments and are just taking the course to learn (if you’re interested in editing, for example, or just a curious fan) then you will not need them.
For lettering and production work, you will need:
- Adobe Creative Suite (CS2 or later). Just Illustrator and Photoshop are necessary for the class.
- Microsoft Word